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Acqiris' new 10bit 4Gsample/s RF digitizers

Posted: 02 Dec 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RF? ATE? automatic test equipment? Acqiris? rf digitizer?

DC152 and DC122 digitizers

Slated for fast RF and automatic test equipment (ATE) applications, data conversion instrument maker Acqiris is readying what it claims will be the world's first 10bit 4Gsample/s digitizers. These 3U-sized PXI digitizers will exhibit input bandwidths up to 3GHz.

The single-slot digitizers use Acqiris's proprietary XLFidelity and JetSpeed II A/D converter chipsets, previously introduced. For its part, the XLFidelity front-end chipset integrates signal conditioning, amplification, and interleaving into two companion ASICs.

The JetSpeed II chipset is designed to enhance data converter performance through the distribution of accurate timing signals. It also helps synchronously pass acquired data to on-board memory.

When they become available, the dual-channel Model DC152 and single-channel DC122 digitizers will shape up to reduce testing and data acquisition time. They should find application in applications such as telecommunications and semiconductor testing, where test time should be limited only by the speed limits of a device under test (DUT).

The wide input bandwidth of these boards will also make them suitable for in synthetic instrumentation systems. In that role they can displace conventional multimeters, oscilloscopes, power meters, and frequency counters for RF and microwave test.

PXI- and CompactPCI-compliant
The DC152 and DC122 digitizers will also be fully compliant with both PXI and CompactPCI standards, and will be supported with the company's AcqirisLive and AcqirisMAQS software. They will work on platforms under Windows, Linux, and VxWorks, with drivers supplied for integration into production test and ATE gear.

By combining a number of elements and functions into one application, AcqirisMAQS organizes set-up, control and acquisition from any number of digitizer channels.

You can use it to interactively manage complex experiments through a familiar multiple-windows workspace, creating new configurations, updating existing ones, and visualizing combinations of signals by using drag-and-drop techniques. It also supports exporting data into other applications.

The hardware
Let's look a bit more closely at these boards. The DC152, with a 2GHz bandwidth spec, will provide synchronous sampling at 2Gsample/s on both input channels, with up to 256Mpoints of optional acquisition memory. In single-channel applications this doubles to 4Gsamples/s and up to 512Mpoints of storage.

The single-channel DC122, on the other hand, will offer sampling rates of up to 4Gsamples/s with 512kpoints of memory (standard), or 512Mpoints (optionally). The DC122 also offers the choice of standard or high frequency front-ends (selected at time of order).

A 50? input stage of the DC122 front-end will also be protected against over-voltage. The XLFidelity programmable front-end electronics provide a set of input voltage ranges extending from 50mV FS (full scale) to 5V FS in a scope-like 1, 2, 5 sequence. You also can use a variable voltage offset.

With a bandwidth of 2GHz, the digitizers will provide amplifier response (flatness, overshoot, and accuracy) to ensure the precision of high-frequency measurements. The front-end circuitry features switchable filtering, fast recovery from out-of-range signals and internal calibration, so there's no need to disconnect input signals.

Cross-point switching
The DC122's high-frequency front-end will also give direct access to the XLFidelity chip's cross point switch. This will give you the benefit of the full bandwidth of the Atmel TS83102G0B A/D converter chip used in both digitizers.

The full-scale range is fixed at 1V, providing a bandwidth of 3 GHz. The input channel has an over-voltage protection to 3V.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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